The beautiful woman sitting at the other end of the bar glances over, catches your eye, and then spends several seconds staring directly at you. Your younger sister, who has a penchant for telling fibs, stares directly into your eyes as she tells you about her mishap at the shopping mall that made her late for your lunch date. Your secretary doesn't break her gaze for several seconds as you give her the list of tasks for the morning meeting. What does it mean when a woman looks directly into your eyes? The meaning often depends on the situation and the nuances of her gaze.
She Likes You
The most obvious reason that a woman would stare directly into your eyes is that it is a sign of attraction. In the Youtube video "When a Woman Holds Your Gaze What Does It Mean?" dating advisor Yue Xu advocates approaching a woman who shows this type of attraction through eye contact. Xu says, "We have these missed moments of opportunity on a daily basis that we are not taking advantage of." Another surefire bit of evidence that she is looking at you because she likes you: dilated pupils. Unless the room is dark or she is drinking alcohol, both of which can cause this phenomenon. Once again, the situation must be taken into account.
Another reason that women give prolonged eye contact is to bond with others and to learn what the other person is feeling. If a woman stares directly into your eyes, she may be trying to assess whether you are happy, sad, afraid or stressed. She may also be looking for evidence of how you are feeling about her and your interaction. If her stare lasts longer than 10 seconds, however, she may be trying to let you know that you have spinach stuck between your teeth.
People in the Western world generally give more eye contact as a sign of deference and respect when listening to others in positions of authority. If a woman perceives herself to have less power in relation to you, for example if you are her work supervisor, she may be staring into your eyes to show her respect and that she is listening to you.
There are also a couple of negative reasons why a woman may stare directly into your eyes. In the Psychology Today article "The Body Language of the Eyes," former FBI counterintelligence agent Joe Navarro indicates that liars often give prolonged eye contact -- because they know lack of eye contact is a sign of deception. If a woman is talking while staring you down, have a listen to see whether her story rings true. Finally, if a woman is squinting while staring you in the eyes, she may be angry or stressed. Think about any potential reasons why you may have angered her or why she may be having a bad day.
Arlin Cuncic has been writing about mental health since 2007, specializing in social anxiety disorder and depression topics. She served as the managing editor of the "Journal of Attention Disorders" and has worked in a variety of research settings. Cuncic holds an M.A. in clinical psychology.
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